Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Spaghetti Bolognese

The recipe I've used for cooking this beef mince is almost similar to the one I used for my Shepherd's Pie. The classic recipe doesn't call for any spice powders, but I've added some, to give it a bit more flavor and oomph to it..

Its hard to find beef stock cubes here in the UAE, but I did manage to get some at the grocery store. You can substitute it with chicken stock cube if you don't find any or just plain salt. Also for the Indian palate, add a tablespoon of your favorite chilly sauce right at the end to give it a bit of a zing. My favorites are Maggi's Hot n Sweet Sauce (available at Al Adil's grocery store or at Geant) or Kimball's Sweet thai chilly dipping sauce.


For this recipe, I have diced the veggies very small, and after cooking it in the pressure cooker, you don't really notice the vegetables.. which is a good thing when you are cooking for kids.. They don't know that there are vegetables in the dish and they get their quota of veggies for the day. I have used beef mince, but you could always substitute with chicken mince if you don't eat beef. Also, I prefer to buy Kashmiri chilly powder instead of regular chilly powder as it gives you a nice red colour but not as much heat as the other chilly powders in the market.


I love cooking meat in the pressure cooker, as it turns out nice and tender and saves me a lot on cooking time.



spaghetti bolognese
Spaghetti Bolognese


Ingredients:

1/2 kilo of beef mince
bacon chopped fine
1 onion chopped fine
3-4 cloves of garlic chopped fine
1 tomato chopped fine
1 beef stock cube
1 large carrot, julienned and diced small
1-2 sticks of celery, julienned and diced small
1 small packet (135gms) of tomato paste
3/4 tsp cumin/jeera powder
1/4 tsp Kashmiri red chilly powder
1 tsp dried oregano

Method:

In a pressure cooker, heat oil.. Fry the bacon till golden and set aside. Add the onions in the pressure cooker and the garlic as well. Sauté till golden in colour. Add the beef stock cube. Then add in the chopped tomato and the chopped vegetables. 

 Add in the spice powders (cumin and the red chilly powder). Finally add in the mince. Cook without the lid, till the mince changes colour, making sure you break all the mince till it is separate. If you leave it without stirring it at this stage, you will end up with a lot of lumps in your mince.  Add half a glass of water and close the pressure cooker.  Turn the heat on to the highest setting and when it whistles, lower and time for 15 mins.


Once the timer is finished, take the cooker off the heat. Pressure cookers are dangerous and need to be handled with care so this is what I usually do when I need to open it; to release the steam you need to lift off the counterweight gradually and bleed off the steam, I usually do this by levering the weight with a fork and adjusting it to let out the steam gently or just run the sides of the cooker under water until it has sufficiently cooled down to reduce the pressure in the cooker.

Do NOT attempt to open the cooker without letting off the steam as this could result in some serious steam burns.

Open the cooker and put the cooker (without lid) back on the fire. Add the entire small tetra pack of tomato paste. I always add in the tomato paste at the end of the cooking to keep the gravy nice and thick, else you will get a very watery curry. Give it a good stir, and check for seasoning. Add in the dried oregano at this stage, making sure you rub it in between your fingers as you add it in, to release some of that aroma.


As I mentioned earlier, for those who would like an extra kick, add in a tablespoon of your favourite chilly sauce..


Garnish with fresh parsley.


Serve over spaghetti (cooked by the packet instructions) and top with some fresh basil and a dusting of parmesan cheese.


NOTE: For a quick tip, I buy a small block of parmesan cheese from the supermarket and grate it fine and store in Ziploc bags in the freezer. It will stay forever that way.